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Keto Diet

16 Foods to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet has become quite popular recently.

Studies have found that this very low-carb, high-fat diet is effective for weight loss, diabetes and epilepsy.

There’s also early evidence to show that it may be beneficial for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases, too.

A ketogenic diet typically limits carbs to 20–50 grams per day. While this may seem challenging, many nutritious foods can easily fit into this way of eating.

Here are 16 healthy foods to eat on a ketogenic diet.

1. Seafood

Fish and shellfish are very keto-friendly foods. Salmon and other fish are rich in B vitamins, potassium and selenium, yet virtually carb-free.

However, the carbs in different types of shellfish vary. For instance, while shrimp and most crabs contain no carbs, other types of shellfish do.

While these shellfish can still be included on a ketogenic diet, it’s important to account for these carbs when you’re trying to stay within a narrow range.

Here are the carb counts for 3.5-ounce (100-gram) servings of some popular types of shellfish:

  • Clams: 5 grams
  • Mussels: 7 grams
  • Octopus: 4 grams
  • Oysters: 4 grams
  • Squid: 3 grams

Salmon, sardines, mackerel and other fatty fish are very high in omega-3 fats, which have been found to lower insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese people.

In addition, frequent fish intake has been linked to a decreased risk of disease and improved mental health.

Aim to consume at least two servings of seafood weekly.

SUMMARY:Many types of seafood are carb-free or very low in carbs. Fish and shellfish are also good sources of vitamins, minerals and omega-3s.

2. Low-Carb Vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables are low in calories and carbs, but high in many nutrients, including vitamin C and several minerals.

Vegetables and other plants contain fiber, which your body doesn’t digest and absorb like other carbs.

Therefore, look at their digestible (or net) carb count, which is total carbs minus fiber.

Most vegetables contain very few net carbs. However, consuming one serving of “starchy” vegetables like potatoes, yams or beets could put you over your entire carb limit for the day.

The net carb count for non-starchy vegetables ranges from less than 1 gram for 1 cup of raw spinach to 8 grams for 1 cup of cooked Brussels sprouts.

Vegetables also contain antioxidants that help protect against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage.

What’s more, cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli and cauliflower have been linked to decreased cancer and heart disease risk.

Low-carb veggies make great substitutes for higher-carb foods. For instance, cauliflower can be used to mimic rice or mashed potatoes, “zoodles” can be created from zucchini and spaghetti squash is a natural substitute for spaghetti.

SUMMARY:The net carbs in non-starchy vegetables range from 1–8 grams per cup. Vegetables are nutritious, versatile and may help reduce the risk of disease.

3. Cheese

Cheese is both nutritious and delicious.

There are hundreds of types of cheese. Fortunately, all of them are very low in carbs and high in fat, which makes them a great fit for a ketogenic diet.

One ounce (28 grams) of cheddar cheese provides 1 gram of carbs, 7 grams of protein and 20% of the RDI for calcium.

Cheese is high in saturated fat, but it hasn’t been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. In fact, some studies suggest that cheese may help protect against heart disease.

Cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a fat that has been linked to fat loss and improvements in body composition.

In addition, eating cheese regularly may help reduce the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with aging.

A 12-week study in older adults found that those who consumed 7 ounces (210 grams) of ricotta cheese per day experienced increases in muscle mass and muscle strength over the course of the study .

SUMMARY:Cheese is rich in protein, calcium and beneficial fatty acids, yet contains a minimal amount of carbs.

4. Avocados

Avocados are incredibly healthy.

3.5 ounces (100 grams), or about one-half of a medium avocado, contain 9 grams of carbs.

However, 7 of these are fiber, so its net carb count is only 2 grams.

Avocados are high in several vitamins and minerals, including potassium, an important mineral many people may not get enough of. What’s more, a higher potassium intake may help make the transition to a ketogenic diet easier.

In addition, avocados may help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

In one study, when people consumed a diet high in avocados, they experienced a 22% decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and an 11% increase in “good” HDL cholesterol.

SUMMARY:Avocados contain 2 grams of net carbs per serving and are high in fiber and several nutrients, including potassium. In addition, they may improve heart health markers.

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Categories
Keto Diet

Curious to Try the Keto Diet? Here’s Everything You Can and Cannot Eat

The keto diet has been one of the most talked-about health trends in the past couple years. The low-carb, high-fat diet induces a state of ketosis in your body, creating ketones that burn fat instead of the glucose converted from carbohydrates. In other words, the keto (short for ketogenic) diet forces your body to burn fat instead of sugar, which can lead to potential weight loss.

Just like any other diet, the keto diet has its pros and cons, and while it remains highly controversial among dietitians and nutritionists, some devotees have reported successful weight loss.

So which foods can you eat and which ones should you avoid? If you’re curious about trying the keto diet, read through for a helpful guide on everything you can and can’t eat.

What to Eat: Meat and Protein

  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Goat
  • Organs
  • Bacon (yes, bacon)
  • Eggs

*Choose organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed meats whenever possible

What to Eat: Seafood

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Cod
  • Halibut
  • Mahimahi
  • Catfish
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Clams
  • Crab
  • Squid
  • Octopus

*Choose wild-caught seafood, and try to avoid farm-raised fish.

What to Eat: Fats and Oils

  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Lard
  • Duck fat
  • Avocado
  • Macadamia nuts

*Try to get your fat from natural sources, but you can also supplement with saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated omega-3s.

What to Eat: Low-Carb Vegetables

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Bok choy
  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Radishes
  • Endives
  • Chives
  • Radicchio

*Try to stick to vegetables that grow above ground.

What to Eat: Low-Sugar Fruits

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cranberries
  • Mulberries
  • Cherries

Avocados

What to Eat: High-Fat Dairy

  • Hard cheeses like parmesan, swiss, feta, and cheddar
  • Soft cheeses like brie, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and blue cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Full-fat yogurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cottage cheese
  • Heavy cream

What to Eat: Nuts

  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecans
  • Brazil nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Almonds

What to Avoid: Grains and Carbs

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Barley
  • Quinoa
  • Cereal
  • Cakes
  • Pastries
  • Wheat
  • Buckwheat
  • Beer

.

What to Avoid: Tubers

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Potato products

What to Avoid: Sugar

  • Honey
  • Agave
  • Maple syrup
  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Sports drinks
  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Cakes
  • Breakfast cereal

What to Avoid: Large Fruits and High-Carb Fruits

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Pineapples
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Tangerines
  • Grapes

What to Avoid: Trans Fats and Refined Fats and Oils

  • Margarine
  • Spreadable butter alternatives
  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Grapeseed oil

Corn oil

What to Avoid: Low-Fat, Low-Carb Products

  • Low-fat milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Diet soda

*Low-fat foods tend to contain more carbs and sugar, while low-carb foods might contain artificial additives.